As the country approaches three weeks of lockdown, over a sunny Easter bank holiday weekend, the full extent of the crisis is becoming clear. Whilst Johnson is recovering from the coronavirus and out of the ICU, the country is suffering from over 900 deaths a day and it’s not getting any better. And there is still confusion as to whether all related deaths, including for instance those in care homes, are being counted and if so how current they are.
One of the scientists/medical people that appear in the daily government briefings on the virus said early on that they would be happy to keep the death toll below 20,000, which sounded shocking at the time. It seems now that that target will not be reached. In fact at one point the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research center at the University of Washington, predicted that the UK would see 66,000 deaths, marginally less than the total for UK civilian who lost their lives in the second world war. The organisation has since lowered the estimate to 37,500. Currently the death rate is thirty times the average for British non-combatants during WW2.
But this disaster, brought on by the lack of decisive action by the government for several weeks after the impact of the virus first became apparent, is not seen in the same way by everyone. At the news of Johnson’s move out of intensive care, but while around 900 deaths a day were being reported, goverment minister Nadine Dorries tweeted, in all seriousness, the following: